This fall, the Connecticut Tree Protective Association will plant a white oak tree in all 169 Connecticut cities and towns in honor of the 100th anniversary of the state’s Arborist Law which requires that arborists are licensed. The law was passed at a time when the gypsy moth and chestnut blight were major tree problems and unqualified people were marketing themselves as tree experts. The new law requires that anyone selling service as a tree expert must be licensed through a rigorous examining process.
Richard H. Lewis III and daughter Katie Lewis, second and third generation arborists, of Woodbridge Estate planted the Woodbridge white oak tree as part of this program at the Fitzgerald property near the community gardens. Lewis is a member of the Connecticut Tree Protective Association, which was created to train people who sought the arborist license.
First Selectman Beth Heller and participants in a Woodbridge Trails Day hike attended the tree planting. Heller told attendees that the CTPA white oak is just one of several trees planted in Woodbridge recently, including six on the Town Center Campus and ten at Fitzgerald Field along Center Road, many of which were made possible through donations.
“I would like to thank Richard Lewis and the Connecticut Tree Protective Association and all our other donors for giving trees to the Town of Woodbridge recently,” said First Selectman Heller. “The Town will benefit environmentally –and aesthetically—for decades to come because of these thoughtful donations. I’d also like to thank Public Works Foreman Adam Parsons for coordinating this tree planting plan and identifying the location and type of tree to be planted.”
At Town Center Campus, two dogwood trees were planted to accompany Arden’s Garden. One tree was donated by the Garden Club of Woodbridge and one by the Board of Selectmen, both in 2018. This year a white oak on the Town Green was planted in memory of Kathy Gartland, a sweet gum was planted in memory of Robert Schulz, and a dawn redwood will be planted by the Vine family in honor of their daughters, Ilana and Glenna.
A beech tree will be planted at the library, thanks to a donation by Ana MacDowell to honor her brother Samuel W. MacDowell, Jr. and at the Fitzgerald Tract, two of the five dogwood trees planted were donated—one by Gordon Sanford in memory of his parents, Elsie and Frederick Sanford and the other by Dr. Nathan Kruger.
In the spring, the Town plans to plant five more crab apples and another five dogwoods will be planted in fall 2020. Residents interested in contributing to the remaining needed trees on Center Road may express interest through a form on the Town’s website under the Recreation or Public Works Department pages.